The Book of Mormon vs Doctrine and Covenants

by Jack H. Williams

One of the oddities of the religion of Mormonism is its use of the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon. While many think the Book of Mormon is their standard of rule and practice the reality is that there is not a single peculiar doctrine of Mormonism taught within its pages. Their organization (President/Prophet, priesthoods, seventies, etc), baptism for the dead, the "word of wisdom" or any other defining doctrines are totally absent in the pages of the Book of Mormon. To find these teachings one needs to consult Doctrine and Covenants, not the Book of Mormon. The Doctrine and Covenants (according to Mormons) is the record of divine revelations given to Joseph Smith during his labors as the head of the Mormon church. But a problem arises when one compares the Book of Mormon with the Doctrine and Covenants. While both claim to be the product of inspiration from God, they do not harmonize. The numerous contradictions between the two works testify to the manmade origin of these works. Lets examine a few of these contradictions.

I. Is Baptism Essential or Not?

  1. In D&C 20:37 we read "And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism. All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized ... and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church (emphasis mine, JHW).
  2. Such contradicts not only the Bible, but also the statement in 3 Nephi 11:33-34 stating the necessity of baptism for remission of sins.

II. Does God Command Monogamy or Polygamy?

  1. D&C 132 sets forth the controversial doctrine of plural marriages. The importance of this doctrine is seen in verse 4 when we are told that if one fails to abide in this covenant, "then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory". (Due to the "law of the land" Mormons claimed to have ceased teaching and practicing polygamy in 1890. This in itself would be a refusal to obey God even in the face of persecution as did the apostles and others - Acts 4&5.)
  2. This teaching directly contradicts Alma 34:32-35 where we are told "this life is the time for monogamy" as well as Jacob 2:23-27 and 3:5. Verse 27 states "there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none".

III. Did or Didn't Christ Show Himself to Man?

  1. In D&C 107:53-54 we read of Christ showing Himself to Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah.
  2. In Ether 3:13-15 we are told "Behold I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son [(?) (JHW)] . . . never have I showed myself unto man who I have created . . .."

IV. Baptism for the Dead ... Yes or No?

  1. D&C 124:22ff sets forth the practice of one being baptized on behalf of one who has previously died.
  2. This practice directly contradicts Alma 34:32-35 where we are told "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God" and that if you "procrastinate" your repentance until death "ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his...this is the final state of the wicked".

V. Is God Spirit or Flesh and Bones?

  1. D&C 130:22 tells us that the "Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also."
  2. Alma 22:9-11 tells us that God is Spirit. (As noted earlier, the Book of Mormon contradicts itself on this in Ether 3:9)

While Mormonism makes a great claim of inspiration for the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, it is clear that neither book is able to sustain that claim. They are clearly the work of men and thus have the errors which men have made.

Mormonism - Book of Mormon Against Itself by Jack H. Williams 2002

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